Do you ever wish to be surrounded by hundreds of butterflies? Because I did, and that is why I visited the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory.
The conservatory is an 18,400-square foot facility filled with thousands of butterflies and moths, a gift shop, outdoor gardens, and conference rooms. Located in South Deerfield, MA, the conservatory opened to the public in October 2000. Immediately driving in, you will see the 8,000-sq ft. glass conservatory that houses butterflies, moths, small birds, a tortoise, and tropical vegetation.
Walking into the place, you will immediately be greeted by some green plants, tables, and a photo-op opportunity for kids and adults alike. You must go inside the gift shop at the checkout stands to purchase admission. The following is their current admission prices:
Prices as of Feb. 2017 according to their website
Seniors 62+: $14
Seniors on Wednesday: $12.50
Students (to age 22) with valid student ID: $10
Children age 3-17: $10 each
Children 3 and younger: Free
Family of four (2 adults and two kids age 3+): $52
Once you pay for admission, you will be guided into a small room filled with tanks. Each tank contains different animal species, including insects, lizards, butterflies, and frogs. They provide plenty of information regarding each animal, its habitat, and even where they are usually found. It is a neat room to learn more about animals, but the excitement is seeing the door to the butterfly exhibit.
There are rules regarding entering the conservatory. A few rules include no strollers; people are not allowed to handle or touch the butterflies and keep an eye on where you step. The venue has a coat room to hang your coats, but we weren’t aware until after we went in, and we didn’t want to go back to find it.
The sun shining through the glass walls heats the conservatory to around 80-degrees to make the environment feel more tropical year-round. Thankfully we had a small backpack to store our winter stuff and sweaters since we were sweating. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the beauty. There were tropical plants everywhere, and you could see butterflies in each corner. In the center of the greenhouse, you could find a heart-shaped pond with Japanese koi.
One remarkable feature was the nursery that housed chrysalis for the people to see. We watched two butterflies hatch and a few set free. Fun Tip: You can see them hatch if you go in the late morning or early afternoon. I learned that when a butterfly comes out, it must stay inside for a while to get dry, but they release them whenever they are ready. It was such a fantastic experience to see them come out of their chrysalis and be freed to their new home.
The other cool feature is that they add little feeding stations so that you can see the butterflies drink sugar water. These are perfect for getting photos of a bunch of butterflies at once. You can even buy the product they use to hold the sugar water at the gift shop.
One of their most significant rules is not to touch the butterflies. They have staff walking around to kick anyone out for disobeying their rules. But, they do mention that you are allowed to stand still to see if one will land on you. I had a few butterflies land on my shoulder, arm and my husband even had one land on his head. We would recommend bright clothing to make them believe you are a flower. And, of course, standstill to make sure you don’t scare them.
We walked in circles a few times because we wanted to see more butterflies. They have seating areas as well to watch them fly around. They have a cement walking path to keep people from stepping on the ground and are easily wheelchair accessible (according to their website).
As I mentioned, the conservatory also includes an outdoor garden, but since we visited in January, not much was alive at the moment. They also have a cafe, but it is currently closed. But if you are looking for a small venue to host a baby shower, wedding, or engagement party, they have some small rooms available.
A few things to note:
- No outside food or drinks are allowed.
- They are open Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Last admission of the day sold at 4:30 p.m.
- They are running at 100 percent capacity and encourage non-vaccinated people to wear a mask. Most of the people there (including myself when not taking photos) had masks on including staff.
- Read all their rules that are posted throughout the conservatory.
I highly recommend the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory for anyone who loves learning and seeing a bunch of butterflies. If you end up going, let us know what you think!
Click here to check out the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory Website.